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Old 07-05-2012, 11:21 AM   #99
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I called Airstream Customer Service this past Monday morning, they got back to me to discuss a satisfactory solution Monday afternoon, and confirmed it with an email on Tuesday.

doug k
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Old 07-05-2012, 12:16 PM   #100
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Collimare et al,

This is in no way a defense of Dometic and their Penguin A/C units (or any other RV roof unit), but please be advised that NO ONE makes an RV roof air unit that is fully serviceable ie; rechargeable. These units are all charged and hermetically sealed at the factories and these companies found out long ago that it was not only more cost effective to replace units that have lost charge, but there was a shrinking pool of RV techs (read dealers also) who were federally licensed to handle refrigerants or who had the equipment to drag up on an RV roof and the training to do a re-charge.

Also, whenever there is a loss in system refrigerant, there is usually a reason for that loss.....mostly being caused by a leak in the system. Now the repair gets much more complex as the refrigerant must be re-pressurized, the leak found, system drained, leak repaired, system purged with nitrogen, system re-filled and tested.

At this point, you are past the cost of a new unit in parts and labor for just a repair. This is why roof units are disposable now.

OTOH, I am 100% on-bard with the other complaints about the quality and longevity of the components used in new Airstreams.
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Old 07-05-2012, 01:43 PM   #101
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Thanks Lew! Understood!

I did hear back from Airstream customer service at 11:30AM and without comment she told me to call Windish RV the local authorized dealer. I just spoke with the service department at Windish and Dave told me the first available appointment was July 30th. When I hesitated he said I better snap it up as it is the only one available that week.

No 30A power, no A/C and I can’t get it in for three weeks and then how long is it in for. We did have plans that also include meeting friends.

What now, do I call Airstream back, to what avail?

Take a few days off and take it somewhere else? Where, when and how long there?
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Old 07-05-2012, 02:06 PM   #102
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Lew, I would like better components like, but not at a higher price. We admired the Eddie Bauer model when we shopped for the Airstream noting better tires, fabrics, floor coverings, the nifty rear hatch and stowaway furnishings. But about $10,000 more than our Flying Cloud. I shopped for trucks; accessories and upgrades can double the price.

Besides the fact that the dirty rats want to make money in their business, is it reasonable to expect (most) customers will spring for large price increases to get a trailer that looks and works exactly the same as what is offered but has high end components throughout. Would I ? Considering all is new, under warranty, and although this stuff has a higher failure rate some will survive as long as the "good" stuff, probably not.

When I die (if after my beautiful wife) I want the last check I write to bounce and all the crappy components in my Airstream to fail at once. Until then, hang in there, junk!

doug k

No one knows these things better than the guys who fix them. Lew, maybe you could put together some component upgrade packages of various levels, and offer it to us. I think there may be some interest in that ?
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Old 07-05-2012, 03:35 PM   #103
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Originally Posted by Collimare View Post
Thanks Lew! Understood!

I did hear back from Airstream customer service at 11:30AM and without comment she told me to call Windish RV the local authorized dealer. I just spoke with the service department at Windish and Dave told me the first available appointment was July 30th. When I hesitated he said I better snap it up as it is the only one available that week.

No 30A power, no A/C and I can’t get it in for three weeks and then how long is it in for. We did have plans that also include meeting friends.

What now, do I call Airstream back, to what avail?

Take a few days off and take it somewhere else? Where, when and how long there?
I realize everyone has unique value priorities, so this would not be for everyone. My strategy though, will be to not rely on the AS warranty, or AS dealers (unless I get a huge leak). I absolutely don't want one inferior part replaced endlessly with the same inferior part, and have it take hundreds of dollars in gas, and weeks of our camping time. Dealer is 600 miles round trip. That's $370 in vehicle gas and depreciation for each trip.

I am going to search out a competent mechanic who is local. Someone who runs by the ethic "Do it once, do it right." I think I have enough analytical and engineering skills to determine what parts are inferior and what are superior. You don't have to be a genius to know that installing another Parallax ATS 301 is a waste of time and money, for instance. If I had to do that twice, like the fellow in Louisiana, I'd be out $500 in hard money and $250 in depreciation to replace a $79 part.

I love the "promising idea" that is embodied in an aerodynamic aluminum trailer. Now, I have to find ways to realize that promise. Obviously, I won't be able to count on the current makers, but will have to take the project on myself. I'll start today with ordering up my new Michelin LTX tires.

If you do stick with the AS merry-go-round of installing the same parts over and over, keep us posted.
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Old 07-05-2012, 04:19 PM   #104
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Jim at IOTA suggested working with Master Tech to get the correct components to fix it right. I spoke to them and they were very knowledgeable and said if I have install questions, issues or problems they are an “immediate” phone call away. I have ordered the IOTA DLS-55/IQ4 as I was planning and a 30A ATS PD5110610V from Progressive Dynamics to replace the apparent failing ATS301 from Parallax. The comment from Master Tech was the ATS301 used "box relays" not an actual contactor and he felt it was of much lesser quality/robustness than the Progressive Dynamics. More interesting was that the shore power goes directly through the normally closed contacts on the ATS301. In order for it to fail the contacts would need to "burn up". That is why mine would work on the generator input as it was going on the normally open set of contacts.

So this will maintain the correct system ratings with significantly higher quality components. Like it should have in the first place. I am still researching which upgrade Air Conditioner unit to put in it.

I will do the work myself next weekend.



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Old 07-05-2012, 06:24 PM   #105
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30A ATS PD5110610V from Progressive Dynamics to replace the apparent failing ATS301 from Parallax.
The Parallax is around $79 retail. How much more was he Progressive Dynamics?
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Old 07-05-2012, 06:36 PM   #106
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Don't k ow which 'Master Tech' you are dealing with but it is not me. I think that part of the ATS problem is that you are limiting your product search to 30 amp units.

The only ATS that I use is the 50 amp model from TRC Surgeguard. These are used in almost every high end bus that I work on and rarely fail. It is easy to use in 30 amp mode by bridging the 2 AC hot inputs as one and connecting the 30 amp hot from the power cord to that.

These units are US made and pretty bomb-proof. TRC also makes the best RV surge protector on the market.

I'll post the model number when I get back to my catalog.
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Old 07-05-2012, 06:41 PM   #107
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Originally Posted by redwoodguy View Post
The Parallax is around $79 retail. How much more was he Progressive Dynamics?
Amazon.com: Progressive Dynamics PD5110610V 5100 Series 30 ...
Amazon.com: Online Shopping for Electronics, Apparel, Computers, Books, DVDs & more › ... › Power Inverters
$103.00 - In stock

Leave it to JC to opt out for $24.00

Bob
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Old 07-05-2012, 07:08 PM   #108
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Amazon.com: Progressive Dynamics PD5110610V 5100 Series 30 ...
Amazon.com: Online Shopping for Electronics, Apparel, Computers, Books, DVDs & more › ... › Power Inverters
$103.00 - In stock

Leave it to JC to opt out for $24.00

Bob
That more or less confirms that for users to up-engineer their rigs is not always LOTS more money. Who wouldn't spend $24 more to have a nice reliable power switch?
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Old 07-05-2012, 07:22 PM   #109
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Look into the the TRC/Surgeguard model 41260....50 amp transfer switch. This is the unit that I use most of the time, with the exception of their 41250 with integrated sure protection and power monitoring, which most of the luxury motor homes use.

MSRP is around $280, but this is a premium product that works!
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Old 07-05-2012, 07:57 PM   #110
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The master tech referred to was mastertech-inc.com who are the recommended distributor for IOTA recommended to me by Jim at IOTA. I bought both components from them. My rational for sticking with the 30A ATS was to stay consistent with the basic design just improving the quality/robustness nothing more or less at this time. The DLS-55/IQ4 was $200 and I think the Progressive Dynamics ATS was $68. We discussed so much before I settled on that ATS so I am not totally sure on the price.
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Old 07-05-2012, 07:58 PM   #111
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Look into the the TRC/Surgeguard model 41260....50 amp transfer switch. This is the unit that I use most of the time, with the exception of their 41250 with integrated sure protection and power monitoring, which most of the luxury motor homes use.

MSRP is around $280, but this is a premium product that works!
I can sure see why a MoHo might find ATS useful. For those with trailers who don't use gennies, would you suggest just removing it?

I think even if I had a gennie, I would rather use a manual switch.
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Old 07-05-2012, 08:04 PM   #112
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I can sure see why a MoHo might find ATS useful. For those with trailers who don't use gennies, would you suggest just removing it?

I think even if I had a gennie, I would rather use a manual switch.
IIRC, I mentioned just that scenario a few pages back. While it is a convenience in having a dual plug-in for a generator along with the shore cord, I would hard wire the shore cord directly into the breaker box and eliminate the extra plug-in and the transfer switch.

It's just not worth the possibility of catastrophic failure and being without 120VAC on hot day when you really want to use your A/C to deal with a cheaply constructed part that's prone to failure.

The longer extension cord for the bed-mounted genny will work first time.....every time when plugged into your shore cord.....no ATS required.
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